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  • Writer's pictureAttie Lime

Tips on Submitting Writing for Children to Magazines

1. Follow the magazines you’re interested in, on Twitter.

2. Put notifications on for ‘all tweets’ if you don’t want to miss a thing (sometimes an editor will tweet ‘I’m sending acceptance emails today’). Stay in the know!

3. Read past issues (yes, more than one) – you’ll get a feel of what they tend to publish (also see point 5).

4. Research Is there a theme? Is there a word limit? How many pieces can you submit at a time? Can you submit a story and a poem? Do they allow you to submit the same pieces elsewhere, at the same time? (simultaneous submissions, or ‘sim subs’). Take note of the deadline date.

5. Get as clued up as you can. If they published a poem about swimming lessons in Issue 3, they are unlikely to publish the swimming lesson poem you send them for Issue 4.

6. Attach the document! (Or don’t, if they ask for the work in the body of the email), and on that note…

7. Read the submission guidelines carefully and stick to them. If you have any questions or difficulties, address them politely and professionally via email.

8. Double-check the intended target audience/age-range of the magazine, and of that particular submission call. For example, some magazines ask that you write with children 7+ in mind, some fall under the title #kidlit but are specifically for a YA (Young Adult) audience.

9. Consider following the editor if their Twitter timeline is bookish or writing related. Sometimes you can find extra snippets of info this way, and you’ll learn about what they like. Often editors are writers too, so be sure to read their work and support them (not to curry favour, but because you’re lovely, and that’s what we writers do!).

10. Include a short, polite covering note – not your life story or full writing CV (unless they ask for it, of course).

11. Send them your good stuff. ‘Magazine’ doesn’t mean not-as-good-as-a-book. The same goes for online publications, as opposed to print ones. There’s a lot of stiff competition out there – stand out.

12. If you're able, subscribe to a magazine (or two). Support them and spread the word. These magazines rely on the support of readers as well as writers, and we want them to succeed and flourish. More opportunities for writers, more wonderful creative writing for children!

13. Take it on the chin if you don’t get accepted this time. There are many reasons why it’s a no, not a yes. Editors receive huge numbers of pieces, and they curate each issue carefully. Your piece may not be a good fit with the other writing this time, or they may have received twenty other dog poems in that submission period. The ‘no’s are simply a part of this writing game, whether you’re a big name or a new starter ( I know, because big names have told me they still happen).

14. Enjoy it, and Good Luck!

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